Foreign weddings on the rise

By Tim Clark,

Last updated at 11:46 28 November 2008

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Foreign weddings have ballooned by 43 per cent in the last five years as more couples choose to tie the knot in foreign climes, new research has shown.

According to market research company Mintel over 51,000 couples married abroad last year, up from 35,000 in 2003.

Cyprus has been named as the top destination for foreign weddings, followed by Greek Islands, Italy, Malta and Turkey.

Almost sixteen per cent of British couples were married abroad this year and foreign weddings are predicted to rise even further in the next decade with unusual locations such as Lapland, Austria and Iceland growing in popularity.

Tom Rees, senior travel analyst at Mintel said: 'Getting married abroad is an increasingly popular choice for couples looking to tie the knot'

'Couples are breaking social convention and experimenting with new wedding styles.


'From beach ceremonies in the Caribbean to 'snow weddings' in Lapland, the special occasion has become more niche and personalised.'

Foreign weddings are also proving to be a credit crunch hit, with the average spend at just £6,500 compared to £20,000 for a UK-based ceremony.

To avoid the red tape and legal requirements of foreign countries couples are increasingly having a small marriage ceremony in Britain followed by a larger 'confirmation ceremony' abroad.

Top destinations are:

1 Cyprus

2 Greek islands

3 Italy

4 Malta

5 Turkey


1 Caribbean


3 Mauritius/Sri Lanka

4 Thailand

5 South Africa

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